After questioning a decision by his party’s Elections Committee for a re-run of disputed elections in some polling stations and constituencies in the Ashanti and the Greater Accra regions, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Bernard Antwi-Boasiako, popularly known as Wontumi, has issued a statement to explain his position.
The National Elections Committee has issued instructions for fresh elections to be held in Okaikoi South, Okaikoi North, Krowor – all in the Greater Accra Region – Juaben, Manhyia North and Ejisu constituencies of the Ashanti Region, claiming ‘laid down procedures and rules were not followed.’
Wontumi and his colleague Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Nii Armah Ashittey, kicked against the decision because they said they were not consulted.
In a statement issued in Accra on Friday, the Ashanti Regional Chairman sought to discard the perception that he was fighting the leadership of the party, saying ‘I have great respect and recognition for the laid-down party structures right from the grass root level to the NEC.’
He however, stressed the belief that ‘in arriving at the NEC decision, some recognition should have been given to the regional party in Ashanti by way of consultation on the matter, since we (the Regional Executive Committee) are in-charge of political administration in the region as far as the ‘Elephant’ family is concerned.’
Mr. Antwi-Boasiako continued, ‘We (the regional party) saw the NEC’s decision as not only unilateral, but a ‘slap’ in the face and a clear disregard for our authority in the region, and that explains why I stated clearly that we are not happy with the NEC’s decision.’
Even though Wontumi said they still disagreed to the decision and the prior procedures adopted by the NEC in resolving the matter, he noted, ‘In the supreme interest of the party, I wish to state that the regional party, led by myself, will be prepared to dialogue with NEC in resolving the matter in order to guarantee victory for the party come 2016.’
In view of this, the Ashanti Regional Chairman underscored, ‘I will be ready to hold my fire on pubic platform and the media, if the condition is not created to necessitate a corresponding defence from me, since the impression should not be created that the regional party has no authority and that it does not matter in the decision making process.’
Going forward, he stressed the need for the party’s NEC to as much as practicable, consult the necessary structures before arriving at and pronouncing such decisions which he said, ‘have far-reaching consequences for the party.’
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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